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The ARL Commission is pressuring the NSW government to commit to upgrading suburban stadiums by threatening to stage the grand final in Brisbane.
After the initial agreement with the NSW government to have Sydney host the grand final until 2042 was canceled when a deal to turn the Accor stadium into a permanent rectangular venue, Queensland entered the race to attract the Prime Minister’s decision maker north of the border.
According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, the Queensland government is set to offer $10 million a year over the next decade to host the flagship event.
ARL chairman Peter V’landys is due to meet Dominic Perrotet on Friday to discuss the stadium stoush and the NSW premier has said The Daily Telegraph that the grand finale would go nowhere.
Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane hosted last year’s decider between Penrith and South Sydney due to COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales, but Accor Stadium is set to host the 2022 Grand Final on October 2.
“Nobody wants the grand final in Queensland, including Peter,” Perrottet said. “As Peter knows very well, we have invested record sums in stadiums and sports infrastructure.
“He also knows that the grand final in Queensland is a bad result for the NRL, for every club and especially for the fans. So he’s not taking him anywhere.
The ARL Commission successfully lobbied for new venues at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta and Sydney Football Stadium and for BlueBet Stadium in Penrith to be rebuilt. V’landys also wants major upgrades to Manly’s 4 Pines Park and PointsBet Stadium in Cronulla to give the sport modern venues at all points around Sydney.
Queensland royalty Immortal Wally Lewis wants to see Brisbane stage more Grand Finals or have the Grand Final sold to the highest bidder to host the game, anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.
“Everyone north of the border thinks it’s an exceptional idea,” he told Channel 9 on Wednesday morning. “There is a bit of excitement in Queensland about the Grand Final returning to Brisbane.
“If the NRL pursues the biggest bidder well, it could certainly go to Victoria. With the MCG welcoming 100,000 fans, it’s going to be very difficult to get them to back down.
Lewis said it was no longer the NSWRL but the National Rugby League, so “if they are able to appeal to rugby league fans across the country that would be fantastic”.
“It’s extremely important for the NRL to share it across the country,” he said.
World’s fastest ballboy says he’s got Hughes covered
Robbie Cliff, the Storm ballboy who became an internet sensation on Monday night, feels he’s got Jahrome Hughes covered, but his dad says he’s not that fast.
The vision of Robbie following the pace of Hughes and Ryan Papenhuyzen as Melbourne scored the opening ry of their 70-10 rout of the Warriors at AAMI Park went viral as the youngster took over the touchline.
Robbie, a 16-year-old junior player who hopes to one day make it to the NRL, told SMH that “”I actually think I was as quick as Jahrome. I think I’m fast.
“All my homies called me the ‘fastest man alive’, and it’s been all over TikTok and Instagram. It’s kind of surreal. I left it [Hughes] catch me, but I got it in the end.
Although his old man, Jason, kept the teen’s quick feet on the ground saying he’s actually slower than he looks.
“In terms of speed, I’d say he’s average. He had a 10m head start and the camera angle was kind to him,” he said.
As anyone who listens to The Grade Cricketer will tell you, getting praise from a father can be tough.
Lockyer says Broncos board ‘100% behind’ Walters
Broncos manager Darren Lockyer denied there were concerns at the board level about coach Kevin Walters’ performance.
Brisbane exercised the option on Walters’ contract for 2023 before the start of this season, but the side only managed a 3-4 record with two of those wins against bottom-placed Canterbury.
“The board is behind Kevvie,” Lockyer said on the QLDer show on Wide World of Sports.
“He arrived last year and morale was low, that’s just where the club was. Compared to [Anthony] Seibold, he did his best. In the end it just didn’t work out but because where the club was at with the wooden spoon the morale was low so he did a really good job of bringing that morale back to the group of players.
“He added a few players to his roster. [Adam] Reynolds and [Kurt] Capewell have been very good signings for the club.
“There’s a lot to look forward to in the next year or two and Kevvie has been a big part of that. This is new to me and all I can say is that the board is 100% behind Kevvie and what he does.